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How to proceed?

GhosttGhostt Registered User Posts: 1,657 Senior Member
edited July 2010 in University of Chicago
Ok. I want to apply to UChicago, but my chances of getting in are slim, mostly because of my low GPA.

I'll be taking 3 SAT IIs in November. I know UChicago doesn't require subject tests, but I assume that having them is better than not having them, especially for people in my position (i.e. having to prove that they can perform well academically).

However, I'd like to apply EA. Why? Because as UChicago starts to perform better at the popularity contest that is the US News & World Report, more and more competitive students hoping to get into Harvard/Hogwarts/Stanford start to apply to UChicago as well, and I really want to believe that most of these people apply RD, after they've been deferred from Princeton or some such.

Is my logic sound, or am I missing something?

And, more importantly, should I apply EA without SAT IIs or should I wait until I have them and apply together with the bulk of the Ivy League hopefuls? Which would be less detrimental to my (woeful) chances?

Please give me some advice!
Post edited by Ghostt on

Replies to: How to proceed?

  • Philosopher-KingPhilosopher-King Registered User Posts: 73 Junior Member
    Well, how low is your GPA? From my experience (and in my own case), an otherwise qualified candidate CAN get in with an A/distinctly NOT A-plus average. However, if most of your grades are B's, that might be another story. But one or two won't hurt (I had at least one B each year and was admitted EA).
  • GhosttGhostt Registered User Posts: 1,657 Senior Member
    I'm an international student and the American GPA system isn't really applicable in my case, but my grades translate to roughly 3.4-3.6 (at a very rigorous school where nobody in my entire grade level has had straight As throughout high school, but this isn't really the point).

    I do believe that I'm an otherwise competent candidate (SAT 2370, great recommendations, good art portfolio), but my grades really are too low. I know.

    But I'm not asking to "be chanced" or whatever, I just want to know if I should wait for my SAT IIs.
  • artloversplusartloversplus Registered User Posts: 8,171 Senior Member
    I can totally appreciate your grades. Because in my native country - Taiwan, teachers in HS do not give A's and the tests are so difficult that in some subjects 80 or B- is top score in the class. You can explain that in the application and perhaps class ranking can also tell the story. If you are top 5-10% of the class, good sat/act score and great essay, you will be accepted. Some times they require Tofel scores for international students, however.
  • GhosttGhostt Registered User Posts: 1,657 Senior Member
    My school doesn't rank at all. Still, I know there were a lot of people with higher grades than me (I'm taking a gap year right now). My high school is small and, well, selective, as much as I hate this word. People are expelled if they fall below a B average, so there aren't scores of slackers to provide the numbers for a good ranking.

    But this is not the point! I'm agonising over EA vs RD here :D
  • Rny2Rny2 Registered User Posts: 607 Member
    If you can get your essays done on time, and you're happy with them, you should apply EA. The marginal boost that EA provides over RD could help you, as your 'eagerness' (higher chance of matriculating) might lead the admit officers to overlook or look deeper into your mediocre GPA. The SAT II's are not particularly important in Chicago's admissions; otherwise, why would they be less than optional (not even recommended like Northwestern)?

    Basically, if you had a chance at all, they'd defer you to RD, where your SAT II's might help you. If not, they would reject you EA, and your SAT II's wouldn't have made an impact at all.

    Keep your chin up. Chicago's admissions is getting more and more competitive, yes, but they're also looking for people who are enthusiastic and passionate about the Chicago education. Rock those essays, and the rest will follow.
  • GhosttGhostt Registered User Posts: 1,657 Senior Member
    Thanks a lot! I really hope you're right.

    I'm not expecting much, but I'd still like to maximise what little chance I have, so your input is very helpful.
  • overachiever1992overachiever1992 Registered User Posts: 221 Junior Member
    If your grades are competitive in the context of your HS, then go ahead and apply EA. Comparing international grades with American grades is comparing apples and oranges.
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 17,530 Senior Member
    There's really no downside to applying EA. Only about 20% of the EA applicants get rejected (most get deferred to the RD pool), and if you get rejected EA it would take more than some good SAT IIs to move you to the "Accept" category, especially given your great SAT Is.

    You really won't lose anything by applying EA. If you get accepted, great. If you get rejected, it was inevitable, a couple more test scores would not have made the difference, and at least you will know early on with some time to adjust your plans and other applications. And if you get deferred, the most likely result, you are exactly where you would have been had you waited to apply RD, and your test scores will get into your file before the next evaluation.
  • esthetiqueesthetique Registered User Posts: 1,106 Senior Member
    I'm pretty sure the website said that you can still send in Nov. SAT scores for EA.
  • GhosttGhostt Registered User Posts: 1,657 Senior Member
    JHS, thanks for the informed opinion! It's reassuring to know that almost no one gets rejected EA, though this might change this year.

    esthetique, thanks for pointing this out! I made this thread under the assumption that the EA deadline was at the beginning of October, which, yeah. Should have rechecked the UChicago website/used some common sense before bothering people with my problems. But still, I found the the advice/info I got in this thread useful.
This discussion has been closed.